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Leading Environmentalists Applaud Representatives Ellen Tauscher, Adam Smith, Artur Davis and Ron Kind for Taking a Stand Against CAFTA

Posted Nov. 14, 2008 / Posted by: RConnors

Contact:
David Waskow, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0716
Brian O'Malley, Sierra Club, (202) 675-6279

Statement by Margrete Strand, Senior Washington Representative, Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program, and David Waskow, International Program Director, Friends of the Earth

"Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth applaud Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Artur Davis (D-AL) and Ron Kind (D-WI) for their leadership in opposing the Central America Free Trade Agreement. We look forward to working with them to ensure that Congress rejects this anti-environmental agreement."

"Trade agreements should lift environmental standards. But until the Bush administration abandons agreements like CAFTA that send environmental standards in the wrong direction, we won't have a consensus on trade."

"Indeed, CAFTA can be summed up in four words: more of the same. It includes the same special treatment that NAFTA gave to foreign companies, allowing them to sue for compensation when laws that protect our environment and health hurt their bottom line. Corporations have already used these rules to challenge regulation of toxic chemicals and attempts to protect sacred Native American sites. NAFTA's corporate lawsuits attack the laws that protect the health and safety of our children and communities, and should not be undermined by global trade rules. Unfortunately, CAFTA would continue and expand this dangerous trend."

"In addition, CAFTA's environmental provisions are weak, unenforceable, full of loopholes and relegate the protection of the environment to a second-tier status compared to the other provisions of the agreement. A forward-looking trade policy should include strong environmental provisions that are enforced on par with those commercial in nature, but CAFTA is an unfortunate step in the wrong direction."

"Throughout Central America, farmers, workers, and communities have joined together in opposing CAFTA. They have witnessed the negative impacts NAFTA had on Mexico's economy and the environment. They know how large a threat CAFTA is to their health, and the health of their natural resources."

"The American people want trade that is safe, clean and fair. CAFTA does not reach that objective."

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